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Animal Protection Line

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Career Path for a Peace Officer

Our Peace Officers perform critical work in Alberta to help protect animals from distress. Their skillset and experience is vast as they must understand animal health and behaviour for all species of owned animals, from companion pets to livestock to exotics such and birds and reptiles.

Here are the skills we look for when hiring Peace Officers;

Previous Law Enforcement Experience

Our Peace Officers enforce the Animal Protection Act and are appointed by the Solicitor General of Alberta. They must be able to perform investigations similar to those of a police officer and require many of the same skills. Applicants who have recent and relevant law enforcement experience can normally be hired without the need to attend the Solicitor General’s college for Peace Officers. Previous law enforcement experience that we look for in candidates include;

  • Police Officer
  • Sheriff
  • Peace Officer
  • Fish & Wildlife Officer

Extensive Animal Knowledge

In order to be a Peace Officer for the Alberta SPCA, you must have extensive knowledge of all animals. Approximately half of our investigations involve livestock, the other half are related to companion animals such as cats, dogs and rabbits, and exotic animals such as parrots, snakes and other reptiles. 

Animal experience that we look for include;

  • Animal Sciences degree or diploma
  • Veterinary Technologist training and experience
  • Pre-veterinarian programs
  • Agricultural programs dealing with livestock and livestock feed

Experience working with animals is gathered over many years and volunteer experience can help round out a candidate’s skills. A background working or volunteering on a farm is an asset, as is any experience working or volunteering at a veterinary clinic or at an animal shelter.

Other skills required for Peace Officers

Basis English and Writing Skills – Peace Officers must be able to take extensive, hand written notes and write reports to be reviewed by judges and lawyers. Peace Officers need to be able to put their thoughts on paper in a cohesive manner, and have penmanship that allows others to read and understand those thoughts.

Ability to make Difficult Decisions – Peace Officers need to make life and death decisions in regards to the animals they come across. The animals that we investigate are often compromised and suffering, and difficult decision have to be made. This job is not for the faint of heart.

Even Temperament – Yes, Peace Officers help animals, but they also must engage with emotional and often difficult owners of those animals. The ability to remain calm during tense situations is critical, while applying common sense to the circumstances.

Strong Analytical Skills – Peace Officers must be able to quickly analyze the situations and animals they encounter in order to make solid decisions for both the animals and the people responsible for the care of the animals.

Team Player – While Peace Officers often work alone, they need to be able to work well with the rest of the team to ensure the best outcomes for animals.

Comfortable Working Alone – Alberta SPCA Peace Officers often drive for several hours to arrive at a single investigation. They must be comfortable driving for long periods of time and working alone.

Other considerations

Since Alberta SPCA Peace Officers are appointed by the Solicitor General of Alberta, they must have no criminal record. Extensive background checks are performed by the Solicitor General’s office before candidates are appointed to be a Peace Officer. Potential candidates must also provide a driver’s abstract.

Our interview process

Candidates chosen for an interview to be a Peace Officer for the Alberta SPCA can expect an extensive three-part interview to determine their knowledge of animals and the health challenges those animals may face.

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The vision of the Alberta SPCA is that every animal in Alberta be treated humanely.

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